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May 7, 2013

DEP, selectmen eye Tool Co. review tonight

ROCKPORT — Residents and officials will have a chance to voice their concerns tonight about public access rights and development plans on the Cape Ann Tool Company site on Granite Street, as well as to show their support for the redevelopment project.

Officials from the State Department of Environmental Protection will be joining town officials for the Chapter 91 hearing for the site. The Mass. General Law was adopted to protect public interest of waterways while securing waterfront access for the owner.

Current plans in the site, proposed by Michael Rauseo, manager, real property owner and signatory of Cape Ann Tool LLC call for boat slips, 13 single-family houses, commercial space, as well as a water taxi that would transport people from Pigeon Cove to downtown Rockport.

Rauseo, who bought the property in September of last year for $1.5 million, had originally agreed to move forward with plans for 25 townhouses first proposed by the site’s previous owner, Old Colony Maritime LLC. But he has noted his new proposal would be more beneficial to residents, giving them a view of the water and increasing tax revenue compared to the plans filed by Old Colony Maritime LLC.

The six permits, both state and local, were all transferred from Old Colony Maritime LLC to Cape Ann Tool Company, but since the proposal changed, some of the permits have to be revised.

In addition to taking spoken comments at tonight’s meeting, the deadline for written comments has also been extended to May 23, according to a legal notice. The hearing is set during a Board of Selectmen meeting tonight at 7 in Town Hall — all of which will be concurrent with the final hour of polling and then the tallying of votes in today’s town elections.

Some residents have already submitted written comments to the state agency.

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